Good article from The Tablet in the UK. This takes on a number of things, but of interest to me is some historical background on the Communion and past controversies and what some see as a creeping into a more centralized authority, with real authority, to develop common canon law and doctrine.
This is a very good post, I do think, from the House of Bishops/House of Deputies listserv.
> Summa: It is but natural for "animals" be they mammals or 'other' to seek
> sexual release with anyone or anything anywhere.
But no. See, there is way too much "fact" and not enough biology going on here for words.
But anything is good enough for the anti-gay bigots!
So when Akinola says "not even animals do that", the bigots cheer!
And when Thomas Darkus says "animals will do anything, should we?", the bigots cheer!
The interesting and dignified lives of animals get tossed aside here; the notion that animals might have their own nature, which is what it is, and was pronounced "good" by God--and is completely absent the history of original sin and the like--this gets lost. Animals, with their own dignity, their own value, and their own importance, become the whipping boy for the bigots in their haste to insult gay people.
Akinola thinks that animals are filthy--but not as filthy as those nasty faggots. In his haste to express his bigotry, Akinola will tell any lie necessary, of course, but we don't hear Kendall Harmon criticize that.
Thomas Darkus agrees with Akinola, animals are filthy--and thinks we humans certainly shouldn't emulate them.
And then Kendall Harmon says "heterosexuality is de rigeur for every species--at least those that have gender", and then thinks that we should emulate this (mistaken) idea about animals.
And what is most important here is that anything, no matter how vicious, how atrocious, how scientificially groundless, is allowed, provided it is used to attack gay people. We can be pilloried anyway the bigots wish.
Some animals (bonobos) have sex in a way that looks promiscuous to humans. But it's a complex thing--they don't just hump any time the urge comes one, rather, sex is a tremendously important part of their mechanism for soothing social insults and expressing bonds of affection and loyalty--and a way to express violence as well.
Some animals form life-long pair bonds.
But the one thing that all the bigots agree about is that gay people are filthy. Reminds me of when bigots though that all black people were filthy, no matter how clean they might be.
The bigots do not think that a dishonest bishop, a gluttonous bishop, a thieving bishop, a warmongering bishop, are bad. Or rather, they are downright good--heroic even!--provided they mouth the right bigoted bits.
I wait for one of the AAC to stand up and say "we think that Akinola is wrong". That they do not is shameful, even heinous. It is exactly like a northern white guy in 1950 apologizing for southern lynch mobs, while saying "of course lynching is wrong". Except that nobody has stood up and said that Akinola's lying is wrong. Nobody has stood up and said that stealing farms and ejecting laborers is wrong.
Right now, when I hear the anti-gay American crowd say "of course we think that killing Matthew Shepard was wrong", I think they are actually lying. They think killing Matthew Shepard was just fine, since they do not in fact object when African bishops engage in the same behavior.
Ashton took me to see Matt & Ben last night for my birthday. It was a great show – creative, the actors did a wonderful job, and it was just good.
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I was reading through the most recent edition of Focus-on-the-Family’s CitizenUpdate and of course there was the obligatory item on homosexuals’ desire to destroy marriage. Background – the HRC will be conducting a million dollar ad campaign to defeat the proposed amendment to the constitution that will deny homosexuals the right to marry nationwide, and the right of individual states to enact laws recognizing gay marriages.
“They’re wanting to attack and destroy the institution of marriage for the financial gain or the pleasure of these adults,” Crews said.
This is such a tired argument and accusation. To simply stop and think for a moment, which is a lot to ask of many people whether liberal or conservative, then to ask how they deduce from a campaign to win the right to marry by gay couples that homosexuals are attempting to destroy marriage? Politicized Religious Right Fundamentalists are not campaigning to destroy divorce, spending millions of dollars to enshrine in our constitution laws that restrict divorce, even though the close to 50% divorce rater among born-again Christians is ravaging good, wholesome, Christian marriages. It is simply, and only, an attempt to find an argument that deceives enough citizens in order to gain the votes needed to deny homosexuals any positive, life-giving, and live-sustaining position within our civil society. If they where truly serious about protecting families and protecting the institution of marriage, they would look at their own houses first, search in their own eyes first, and spend the millions upon millions of dollars to protect the institution of marriage against divorce, but they don’t because too many of them are involved in divorce, fornication, adultery, and the like, and it is much easier to find a vulnerable scapegoat to blame – which are homosexuals and their desire for equal treatment under the civil law with regards to state recognized marriage.
Genevieve Wood, spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council –also named in the ad — said it comes down to this: “Is marriage between a man and a woman — as it has always been in this country and civilization throughout history — or is marriage something that you can just make up and redefine, which is what pro-homosexual organizations like the Human Rights Campaign would like to suggest?”
It is historic fact that marriage has been re-defined time-and-time again. To believe that throughout all history and in every culture marriage was defined and understood as we do in the United States in the 21st. Century is to be completely ignorant of history – willfully ignorant or willfully deceptive!
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Yesterday was my birthday and I received an e-mail from a friend of mine back in Ohio (John Nolan) with this character inventory based on trees. So, all those born between Oct. 25 through Nov. 11 are Maple trees. Here is the description:
MAPLE TREE (Independence of Mind) – no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.
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There was a lunar eclipse tonight. St. Paul’s had their annual dinner/auction/raffle tonight, and people were running in and out to watch the eclipse. It wasn’t nearly as impressive as when years ago I was paperboy in Vermilion and on my route one night I watched a lunar eclipse. The moon, then, was very low in the sky, which made the moon look much larger that it normally does – kind of like a science fiction movie with a planet that has a very close and very large moon or two. Anyway, tonight’s moon was positioned high in the sky.
I’ve got to get some sleep – I am fatigued to the point where I can’t fall asleep. I am stressing myself far beyond reason – well, not really beyond what we are all feeling, but I think I should be able to convince myself that there is not need to stress this much because there is nothing I can do about all the work that is coming due. I’ve got to restore some semblance of balance in my life, especially concerning exercise of some sort just to relieve the effects of stress. I just don’t know how I am going to do it.
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Well, the deed it done. There were protestors (Fred Phelps and his gang, and a few others) and counter-protestors (students from the University of New Hampshire and a few others). Three people (priest Rev. Earl Fox from the Diocese of Pittsburg, a lay women from New Hampshire, and a Bishop Suffragan David Bena from Albany) gave reasons why Robinson should not be consecrated. The first guy, Fox, I think was his name, began giving invalid statistics about gay-sex and was becoming quite vivid in his discriptions until the Presiding Bishop Griswold stopped him and ask his to skip over the graphic stuff and get to is point. He did. It was all quite civil.
We all are dead tired and going to bed.
See pictures here: http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=%22Gene+Robinson%22
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Fred Phelps will be protesting against the consecration of Gene Robinson, today. Nothing new. His group will also be protesting the AAC’s alternative service being conducted for those who oppose the consecration on the grounds of Gene’s homosexuality. Fred and his family/group are protesting both consecration and alternative service because ALL Episcopalians are going to Hell, regardless of their views on homosexuality or Gene’s consecration.
Unexpected Support for Episcopal Church Action
By Dan England and Matthew Davies
[Episcopal News Service] On the eve of the consecration of Canon V Gene Robinson as Bishop-coadjutor of the Diocese of New Hampshire and the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, a twist. It seems students from the University of Durham in New Hampshire, will be protesting conservative protestors tomorrow by staging their own demonstration and calling for "a more realistic and broadminded approach" to the current stance on homosexuality in the Church. One of the students, a 21 year-old woman called Nika with a hard-to-miss silver ring in her bottom lip, told ACNS/ENS that she had never been to church, but was joining the protest. "I am very spiritual," she said, "but I'm not much for organised religion." Asked if she'd consider actually going to a church that took this kind of action, she said, "Yeah, I think I would. Yeah, I'll have to give it a try."
The American Anglican Council (AAC) will be sending two representatives to Durham, New Hampshire during this weekend's consecration. The Revd Canon Dr Kendall S. Harmon, Canon Theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Rt Revd David Bena, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Albany, will be providing support for New Hampshire Episcopalians grieved by the actions of their diocese and to also stand with them in opposition to the consecration.
Ever since the 74th General Convention in Minneapolis, there has been a superabundance of opinion that has turned into a struggle over the true nature of the Anglican Communion. The conservative contingency at tomorrow's consecration will be positioning themselves to contend and protest what they see as the demise of traditional scripture while others will be observing what they feel is a remarkable turning point in the history of the church. The student protesters, many of whom are without religious affiliation, go blank when asked about the view of the Bible on the question, but seem united that "it's about time" when commenting on the event.
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Today is the day. It is “D” day for the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. We leave the seminary at 7:00 am for the five hour drive to New Hampshire. I have such mixed feelings about all this, but it will be a historic day – perhaps an infamous day.
“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.
“Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”
(St. Patrick’s Breastplate)
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A decision has been made and announced by the Anglican Mission in America (the schismatic group of “conservative” – I hate using that term! – Episcopalians who align themselves with and are given authority by the Anglican Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Yong Ping Chung of SouthEast Asia) concerning the ordination of women. There have been many saying that if the reactionary-conservatives are permitted to take control of the Episcopal Church USA that one of their first actions would be to rescind the right of women to obtain Holy Orders/ordination to the priesthood. Well, that is exactly what has happened. The two women priests who have aligned themselves with the AMiA will be allowed to retain their Orders, but only on staff at their present assignments. Any women priest in the future who aligns herself with the AMiA will have her Orders to the priesthood revoked and she will function as a Deacon.
If the American Anglican Council succeeds in its efforts to have its churches declared the official representatives of the Anglican Communion in the U.S., with its power coming from some African, Asian, and South American bishops, then expect them to come to the same conclusion as did the AMiA. There have been statements that the different factional parties represented in the AAC have opposing beliefs concerning women’s ordination. AAC will not be able to hold together with these kinds of differences, especially since they are beholden to reactionary-conservative bishops in provinces that do not allow women priests. Once schism happens, schism will continue between those who favor and those who do not favor women priests – let alone bishops.
Here is the announcement:
For Immediate Distribution, Contact: Jay L. Greener
Communications Officer: The Anglican Mission in America
Anglican Mission in America Announces Policy on Women's Ordination
After an extensive and thorough process of study and reflection the leadership of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) has announced its newly adopted policy on the ordination of women.
Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Yong Ping Chung of SouthEast Asia, sponsors of the Anglican Mission, have provided the guidance to ordain properly qualified and called women as deacons, but not as priests or bishops.
The decision follows two years of intensive study and input on the part of a special commission chaired by the Rt. Rev. Dr. John Rodgers. Bishop Rodgers, formerly President of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Pittsburgh, indicated that to his knowledge, it is the most extensive study and review of its kind on the issue of women's ordination.
Commission members, who represented a variety of views on the topic, read a large amount of background material, dealt with the biblical texts and considered the best way forward. Along the way a major document was produced, likely the only one of its kind, outlining the various options, the pros and cons, and the exegesis related to each position. The report was then considered by the leadership of each AMiA congregation, and feedback was received. After this, the findings went to the House of Bishops in Rwanda in early October for their deliberation, and finally to the sponsoring Primates of the Anglican Mission for their decision.
As promised when the Anglican Mission was formed in 2000, the two women who had already been ordained Priests and had affiliated with the AMiA, will be permitted to continue their ministry as priests, serving on staff where called. However, women who seek affiliation with the Anglican Mission from this point on, who are already ordained as priests, will be asked to serve as deacons. Also as promised, women deacons will only be appointed to minister where they are openly received.
"As baptized Christians, we all have a call to ministry," observed Bishop John Rodgers. "As a missionary movement, we need the full and active participation of all our members, ordained and lay. This is true of both women and men in our midst. We need godly women to provide important leadership and ministry as lay leaders, and when so called within the sacred order of deacons."
The full 142 page report of the study commission is now available on CD-Rom, for a cost of $5 each. To order, please contact the Anglican Mission in America's National Mission Center at 843-237-0318, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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